Friday, June 6, 2008

D Day

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one

Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year of 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground.

Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

The Supreme Allied Commander


Findalis said...

Never before had there been such an Armada assembled for an invasion and I pray to G-d that we never have to assemble another Armada for another one.

The Longest Day was just the beginning of what would be a month of Hell. But it was the beginning of the end for the Nation from Hell.

NeoConstant said...

I wonder, would you be interested in writing for NeoConstant? You seem to fit the bill...

Let me know,


Ben Sutherland said...

Thanks for the reminder, GSG. One of the most important days in the history of the modern world. It's one of the most definitive days for the notion that the forces of freedom and democracy really are far stronger than the forces of repression.

And that human tragedy is a sacrifice that some, at least, have to be willing to bear, sometimes, if we care about freedom and there is no other way. As I think about enlistment, GSG, this is a good reminder of why we sign up for the dangerous duty.

You're right about Al Queda and Pakistan, by the way. Those assholes need to stop cozying up with the Jihadists, grow some balls, and capture or kill those assholes. I'm open to the idea that opening the space for a non-violent political wing of Al Queda may moderate their ranks, as it has successfully with the IRA and the Ulster Unionists, Fatah, but which Hezbollah, despite hopes I still have for Lebanon's democratic process, should be an important caution to. I'd be curious about the statistics on death and destruction in those cases and other similar cases where terrorists have founded non-violent or less violent political wings. The U.S. has very little if anything at all to negotiate with Al Queda. The Pakistanis, though, like other Muslims peoples, have pockets of substantial support for these assholes, I'm sure. So giving that support open political expression, might, as it often does, moderate their means and their demands in a way that sucks the political oxygen from Al Queda's violence.

It's the political oxygen, the political support, that keeps them going, long-term, even when you capture or kill their leadership and their ranks. That offers a longer-term outlook, at least, to our efforts, there. Whether or not it delivers or could deliver or not, is an open question.

But, you're right, GSG. Those pricks need to eat it in jail or on their backs, in the meantime. Politically (and as a matter of humanity, I suppose, but I don't cry for those shitheads when they eat it), it would be wiser to put them in jail, as much as possible, so you don't strengthen their political support with cries of injustice and martyrdom. But if they gotta go, they gotta go. I just want to think beyond the moment of death or imprisonment of any one operative.

Thanks for the reminder. My birthday's Flag Day. But this day's more important. I should see if I can make it down to the Eisenhower Memorial on my way to Wichita.

If you haven't read Stephen Ambrose's counterfactual history of D-Day in the first series What If? books, GSG, I highly recommend it. Ambrose postulates all kinds of scenarios, especially around weather, which was really wet and shitty on June 5, the originally scheduled date, had Eisenhower not postponed the invasion. You would also like John Keegan's hypotheses around if Hitler had gotten access to Middle Eastern oil to maintain his war machine longer. Fascinating reads. Keegan still writes at the Daily Telegraph and a million fuckin' excellent military histories, if you haven't read him, yet.

I think some military history might be in order in today's reading.

Nikki said...

Great post...and thanks for the D-Day prayer. Its a good reminder of the good america does. :)N

Debbie said...

It is amazing what was accomplished when we look back. Americans working together, allies working together, with one goal in mind -- defeat the enemy.

We have some of that going on today. I hope that when history looks back on this conflict against Islamic terror, we will be equally proud of what was accomplished and how we accomplished it.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Michael Tuggle said...

All I see when I view pictures of D-Day is the waste. As Buchanan has said, it was an unnecessary war.

Karen said...

Thank you, Courtney, for such a terrific post. A day to honor and remember. None lost in vain.

Beaman said...

Michael Tuggle: Is that the same Pat Buchanan who said Adolf Hitler was 'an individual of great courage' and who went on to blame Britain for WW2 in his book (mentioned in the link you provided)? Let's gloss over the fact that he is an anti-Semite.

If Nazi Germany and Japan had not started invading other nations and creating genocides, then I would agree, WW2 would have been 'an unnecessary war'.

Michael Tuggle said...


Apparently, you can't respond to the facts, so you resort to an ad hominem attack.

We'll wait patiently while you dig up documentation of Pat Buchanan's "anti-Semitism."

Meanwhile, as for Hitler being a brave soldier, let's not forget that others have concluded the same. Liberal historian William Shirer noted that Corporal Hitler was "twice decorated for bravery" and that "there is no doubt Corporal Hitler earned the Iron Cross, First Class."

As Churchill (Winston, not Ward) once said, "The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is."

Ben Sutherland said...

"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is."

How true, Michael. And most true is that praising Hitler as a brave soldier is kind of a strange emotional defense for, "I can't find it within to me to defend American, British, and the soil of other allies and to hell with all those Jews, gypsies, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Communists and radicals, and other folks that Hitler slaughtered."

I don't know if it's anti-semitism, Michael, but it sure sounds like cowardice to me.

You might want to reflect a little bit on that take on the sacrafices of the Greatest Generation.

Americaneocon said...

Cool post, Courtney! Nuff said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm back from vacation, and will be in the swing of things again this week!!

Beaman said...

Michael Tuggle: Firstly I think you need to refresh yourself with the term ad hominem.

Regarding Buchanan, he has charged that the American intervention in Gulf War 1 was caused by a Jewish conspiracy, which consisted of American Jews conspiring with the Israeli Defense Ministry.

He has also used the term "Holocaust survivor syndrome" which, in his view, involves "group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics."

In his book 'In A Republic, Not An Empire', he denied that Adolf Hitler had any malicious intentions toward the West, let alone toward the Jews living there.

I can go on.

Ben perfectly sums up my feelings regarding the latter part of your comment.

Michael Tuggle said...

ben sutherland,

But the US did not go to war to save Jews, Gypsies, etc. As a matter of fact, FDR refused to allow the St. Louis to unload its German-Jewish refugees on US soil before the war.

WWII was an extension of WWI, a totally useless mass slaughter that US involvement made even worse, and gave us Nazism and Communism. WWII gave us Communist domination of eastern Europe.

The Greatest Generation was used by the powers that be for their own ends. It's important to learn that lesson so we can prevent future wars.

Read Buchanan's short article, and you'll be a little less enthusiastic about war.

Ben Sutherland said...


I am definitely no enthusiast for war. I don't think anyone who knows what war really entails could be an enthusiast, unless they are slightly psychotic. In fact, all of my policy work is designed to avoid war, as much as is honestly and humanly possible. My theoretical policy work around principles of least possible necessary aggression is explicitly dedicated to avoiding unnecessary warfare and use of military means when less aggressive more appropriately respect liberty or democratic principles of self-determination or when other means are more likely effective, even if military means might have warrant.

Having said that, I am no pacifist, by any means. If war needs to take place, then I am fully prepared to fight, personally as well as as a matter of policy.

The clearer reason that Americans did fight in that war, Michael, is still a fine reason to fight. It's true that Americans were slow to the draw on defending Jews and other peoples being overrun by Hitler's march of genocide. But defending American interests - particularly post-Pearl Harbor, given the alliance between Imperial Japan and Imperial Nazi Germany - nevertheless British, French, and other European interests - is a wholly necessary reason to war with Japan and Germany, completely independent of the other very good reason to war with Germany, namely to end the genocide.

I can't read Pat Buchanan completely, is the truth. His arguments seem a mix of anti-semitism, Catholic anti-war theology, right-wing isolationism, and, no offense to Pat, but he doesn't seem like a guy who gives a ton of a shit about the interests of people unlike himself very substantially. I'm sure he has his less self-centered tendencies. But I wouldn't say he's the most caring guy I've ever run across.

And the bottom line, Michael, is that Pat is just wrong on this question. He doesn't take seriously enough the threat to American interests, to British, French, and other European interests, to the interests of all of those people that Hitler slaughtered in the process, or take seriously Hitler's clear ambitions of world domination, at all. WWII was an outgrowth of WWI. It was Hitler acting on a very ugly, distorted vision of imperialism at all costs that the Treaty of Versailles failed to resolve post-WWI, which is the reason why that first war is such an enormous and unspeakable tragedy in world history for which millions of people died needlessly. Because it was fought on behalf of a principle of imperialism that most decent people do not take seriously as a legitimate principle or governing philosophy today. The lesson that Hitler learned from that first war was not that such wars were needlessly tragic, as the Americans, at the least, did, and as the British and French would come to realize, but that under the prevailing logic of imperialism, which the Treaty of Versailles tragically extended with the acquisition of colonial holdings for the British and French victors, what Germany needed to do, in future wars, Hitler believed, was the build an army so unstoppable that they could not do otherwise but to win and impose a final imperial will on all challengers.

He tried. He lost. And it took Americans to make that loss happen. And without it, I have very little doubt that he would have lost a future war (actually, with Stephen Ambrose, I have very little doubt we could have lost that original WWII; the question was how quickly and how many people would die in the process), but Americans and the rest of the world would have been underneath the brutal thumb of one of the most barbarous dictators that the world has ever seen.

That fact would exist quite independent of Pat Buchanan's opinions on the matter. And there are quite a few American and other soldiers to thank for the fact of an Allied victory that prevented an imperial victory for the Nazi army. Many of the people you and I might think about thanking, Michael, are not with us anymore. 70 million somebodies, actually, lost their lives in that war, that would have undoubtedly been multiplied many-fold had the outcome have been different.

And, I, for one, think they were worth saving and think the sacrifices of the somebodies who died for the Allied cause were worth more than our claims of futility in the effort. I would hope you do too.

Michael Tuggle said...

ben sutherland,

But a fact remains a fact. And the fact is that our leaders misled us into war in 1917 and 1941.

The bravery of our troops is undeniable, but celebrating a misbegotten mission only justifies more militarism. I say expose the bastards who sacrificed American troops for their ambitions. Expose them so they can't kill again.

Here we are in a war that's killed 4,100 men, crippled our economy, destabilized the Middle East oil supply, and FOR WHAT? All of the justifications for Bush's invasion of Iraq have been disproven.

And now he wants to invade Iran?

Thank God the American people are waking up to this crime. Bush's and the war's approval ratings prove you really can't fool all the people all the time.